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  1. ” taking only ~150 plate appearances to become reliable. Castro is currently at 83 plate appearances”

    Which means there’s about as good a chance that he hasn’t improved at all, as there as that hes improved as much as you think.

    Comment by RC — April 22, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  2. fuck stats (and i love them). this dude has one of the quickest bats I’ve ever seen. You cannot get a fastball by him on the inner half of the plate. Gary Sheffield/Moises Alou-esque. He’s going to be a star for a long, long time

    Comment by tyler — April 22, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  3. I can assure you that we Cubs fans haven’t shifted our attention from Castro. He’s the only reason to watch the team these days.

    Comment by Eddie — April 22, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  4. Agreed- valid point, lack of numbers be damned

    Comment by Jack Nugent — April 22, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  5. You’re saying Casey Coleman isn’t doing it for you?

    Comment by sgolder06 — April 22, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  6. Castro will probably end up with about 4500 hits and 900 doubles in his career.

    Comment by Boomer — April 22, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

  7. I don’t think he’s only player on the Cubs worth watching this year but he’s easily the most interesting/exciting. One thing I wonder about him: will his approach change as he grows so that he starts to hit less ground balls? Because he’s not small. Already he’s no longer the tiny, tiny baby that arrived against the Reds last May. He’s growing up and has more to do (he turned 21 during Spring Training). There could be home runs there if he ever hits more fly balls. Not a huge number or anything, but 15 anyway.

    I think he’s going to be a proper star. Forget what I said earlier: Geovany Soto could win MVP and Ryan Dempster the Cy Young and Andrew Cashner could reach into Tim Lincecum’s mind and snatch his change-up like so much candy from a freaky baby and, what the hell, the Cubs could win it all (ha ha!) but if Castro sucks or breaks his leg or suddenly becomes Ryan Theriot 2.0, I think we’ll all be left with a nagging feeling of disappointment.

    Comment by Daniel — April 22, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  8. This last paragraph was delightful, although I’m having some serious trouble removing the image of Timmy as a freaky baby from my mind.

    So, thanks… and damn you.

    Comment by ToddM — April 22, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  9. He’s also only 1 letter removed from a Socialist dictator double-whammy.

    Comment by BC2772 — April 22, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

  10. I just sold him and Valverde for Shin Soo-Choo. I feel like I made the right decision but it still hurt.

    He’s a star, but breakout stars at his age are once or twice a decade.

    Comment by Scott — April 22, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

  11. Starlin Castro’s at bats are the only thing I look forward to about watching the Cubbies at this point.

    Comment by CubsFan — April 22, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  12. Castro has nothing on Brendan Ryan.

    Comment by Slats — April 22, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  13. I drafted him as my starting shortstop in the 10th round of a 12-team league after such great shortstops like Stephen Drew, Alexei Ramirez, Derek Jeter, Jimmy Rollins, Elvis Andrus, Rafael Furcal, and Jose Reyes… That was in fact on purpose, since I had the 10th pick and wouldn’t be able to get Hanley or Tulo; believe me, I didn’t forget about him from last season. He’s making me look like a genius right now :)

    Comment by Phillie697 — April 23, 2011 @ 1:14 am

  14. File this under headlines that will be inevitably be over used.

    Comment by Mike — April 23, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  15. Agree here too. Fingers crossed–but I see his ceiling as the sky.

    Comment by jirish — April 23, 2011 @ 11:46 am

  16. File “File This” under witticisms already overused.

    Comment by Jack Weiland — April 23, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

  17. Shut up.

    Comment by Jim — April 23, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  18. For every “Starlin Castro” the Cubs acquire, they usually get saddled with 3 “Milton Bradleys” who drag the entire team into the dirt. Team players like Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez are too frequently overshadowed by highly paid, self-centered strikeout kings like Alfonso Soriano and guaranteed-outs-with-men-in-scoring-position players like the recently dumped (albeit years too late) Derrick Lee. Get real Cubs fans (I being one of the biggest). Until the Cubs load the team with players who are truly proud to wear the Cubby blue and play the game like Ron Santo, they’ll continue to be the doormat of the National League and NEVER get to the World Series…despite having what might be a short-term, flash in the pan, phenom such as Starlin Castro.

    Comment by Enzo — April 24, 2011 @ 7:37 am

  19. Why so bitter, Enzo?

    Comment by Rick — April 24, 2011 @ 9:08 am

  20. Hmm, Geovanny Soto, Castro, Colvin, Barney, Zambrano, Cashner, Wells, Marmol, Marshall, Wood are all players developed from their own farm system and are all average to above average players in MLB. What the F more do you want?

    The Cubs everyday lineup is better than the overrated one on the South Side and once Wells & Cashner get back, it’ll be a better rotation and I haven’t even mentioned the bullpens yet.

    7th best OBA
    9th best SLG
    8th best OPS in MLB

    All with the wind blowing in and near freezing weather nearly every home game suppressing offense. BTW, how many HR & RBI does Soriano have? Have you actually watched any games this year? I seriously doubt you have. So just shut up already.

    Comment by GrouchoM00 — April 24, 2011 @ 10:34 am

  21. Daniel: hope you were joking about Dempster. He’s been awful so far. HRs are killing him.

    As for Castro, agree on the bat, though I don’t know if he will develop much power. But he’s definately a candidate to hit around .300 every year, albeit he doesn’t walk much.

    Defensively, he’s very poor and I watch every Cubs game (poor me, right?). I’m not talking about errors (gasp!), or even range (his UZR surprises me as to the eye he appears to have decent range actually), but his instincts and throwing mechanics. I don’t see him staying at SS long-term.

    Comment by Bob — April 24, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  22. Have to disagree with you on A-Ram being a so-called “team player”, whatever the heck that is defined as. Look, just because the Cubs have been a pathetic organization (no malice intended, I’m a Cubs fan too), nuggets do emerge and Castro is one of them. Just because other phenoms like Corey Patterson and Felix Pie never panned out doesn’t mean that Starlin won’t. True, they may never get to the World Series, but they will have their occasional “stars”. All teams do.

    Comment by Bob — April 24, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  23. Proud to wear Cubby blue? I think the first and only priority should be dudes who are good at baseball. I’d be proud as hell to wear Cubby blue and I would be a godawful major league player.

    Comment by Jack Weiland — April 24, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  24. Uh huh.

    Comment by Jack Weiland — April 24, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  25. Well the whole thing was a joke really. The homers have killed Dempster alright but looking at the numbers, it seems like a case of horrendous luck. Who knows, it might last all season, but I think he’ll be fine. He’s never winning a Cy Young, but he’s still very good.

    I’m surprised you describe Castro’s defense as “very poor”. Even just from an errors perspective, it doesn’t seem like this year is going to be as bad as last year. I think his range is excellent and, yeah, he has the occasional decision-making or throwing lapse but surely allowance has to be made for the fact that he’s the youngest player in the big leagues and, well, he’s playing shortstop. It’s not a position you just walk in and master. Experience will presumably stand to him a lot as he acquires it. It always amazed me last year how people seemed to expect a 20 year old to be capable of avoiding mistakes completely.

    Good shortstops are so hard to find. My guess is he’ll be fine defensively as he matures and I doubt he moves from SS any time soon.

    But then I’m hopelessly optimistic.

    Comment by Daniel — April 24, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

  26. Just wanted to mention that Castro already has 2 points on Bill James Hall of Fame monitor. He’s working his way to the top. You need about 100 points on the monitor to be selected into the hall of fame. My prediction is about 3-4 points this year. Some statistics I could see Castro getting this year, that would give him Hall of Fame points:

    200 hits
    selected to the all star game
    leading the league in batting average.

    Comment by Dscott — April 25, 2011 @ 8:42 am

  27. Let’s not crush his fragile ego with hyped up expectations. Remember, right now Sam Fuld has a claim as the MVP…

    Overall the Cubs are going to struggle this year. The question is whether or not we have a chance at putting together a good team within the next 2-3 years, when Castro will hopefully start hitting his stride (and maybe some power), Geo & Cashner in their prime and .. hopefully some new blood that works out via trade etc.

    Man am i hating that Matt Garza trade…

    Comment by Linus — April 25, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

  28. Yeah Garza is good in my opinion, but were they seriously playing for this year? Trading away our prospects hurts when you look at when we might actually have a shot to compete. We can only hope for a playoff spot this year, because although i think our division will be competitive, none of the teams has blown me away to start the season.

    The cardinals won’t compete with their current rotation/ bullpen

    The brewers–probably the strongest team in the division, but defensive woes will keep them in check.

    Reds– Baker is manager, need i say more. (not scared)

    Houston/pirates — no comment.

    No matter how bad the Cubs are, I am confident we can compete with the other Central opponents.

    Comment by Dscott — April 25, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

  29. We’ll see how Chris Archer turns out first. The other prospects I don’t care a whole lot about (let’s face it, Fuld was the Cubs 5th OF this year, it’s unfortunate but I don’t think we would ever have seen him play well in Wrigley). The Cubs have Garza for 3 years. He looks very interesting already. I wouldn’t despair yet.

    Comment by Daniel — April 26, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  30. Play the game like Ron Santo? You mean rip teammates in the press after they screw up and show up the other team by clicking your heels after a Cub win? I’m old enough to have actually seen Santo play. What I most remember is him hitting into tons of rally-ending double plays. You want to pick someone from that team to play like, make it Billy Williams or Fergie Jenkins. No thanks on Santo.

    And when Ramirez stands at home plate admiring a ball that ends up hitting the wall and not going over it – do you think to yourself, “Good job, team player?”

    Comment by Tom — April 27, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  31. Well, you should start caring about Hak Ju Lee. He’s the guy that was slated to move Castro over to second when he got to the majors in two years. And speaking of a small but impressive sample size performance – Lee is currently batting .447 at high A Charlotte.

    Comment by Tom — April 27, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

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